A Q+A with SNL’s weekend updater

Seth Meyers? Really!
By JESSE PAPINEAU  |  July 17, 2012


Though you may know Seth Meyers best as the anchor of Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update," he's anything but a one-trick pony. The SNL head writer spent last week co-hosting Live! with Kelly (and deflecting rumors that he may follow Regis as Ripa's cohost) and has had some high-profile gigs, including hosting the White House Correspondents' Dinner and the ESPYs. In advance of his performance at the Newport Yachting Center on Friday, Meyers talked with us about meeting Tom Brady, writing political material, and getting his citizenship revoked.

DO YOU HAVE TO MAKE A CONSCIOUS EFFORT TO BE MORE SUBDUED FORLIVE! WITH KELLY AS OPPOSED TO YOUR USUAL STYLE OF COMEDY? Obviously there's a difference between what people laugh at at 10 am and what they laugh at at night. But I think that happens for the kind of jokes you try to tell as well. But I will say like any audience, they also like to laugh at things.

SO ARE YOU TAKING THE JOB? [Laughs] Oh no, I've got a job I love at SNL. It's very hard when you have your dream job to think about anything else. And it's an election year, and those are the most exciting times to work at SNL, so I'm very much looking forward to our season starting.

DO YOU GET AN EXTRA CHARGE OUT OF WRITING THE POLITICAL MATERIAL? You get an extra charge about writing it, and you get an extra charge about the fact that everybody's paying attention to it — the writing staff, the cast, and the audience. And our show works best when there are big stories that everybody's following and there's kind of nothing bigger than electing a president. So this will be my third election on the show, and they're just always such great years.

DO YOU THINK THE ELECTION MATERIAL HAS AN IMPACT ON THE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE? It's so dangerous to think that your comedy writing has any impact, but you still need to remember that your goal as a writer is to be entertaining and funny. And sometimes it's easier to be funny if you're making a point that people agree with. So I'm not saying you're not trying to write intelligently, but I don't think you want to go into it being like, "The goal in this sketch is to make America realize..." But sometimes you do something that makes people think about something in a different way.

DO YOU MISS PERFORMING IN THE SKETCHES ONSNL? I really don't [laughs]. Of all the people in the cast, if there were 13 of us, I felt like I was 13th; if there were 10 of us, I felt like I was tenth. Which is why "Update" is a really nice fit for me. Whereas you see someone like Fred Armisen or Kristen Wiig who can play a hundred different people you [say], "Oh, this is not my strength." At some point, you don't want to be a seven-footer trying to shoot three-pointers.

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Related: Interview: Damon Wayans, Interview: Sarah Silverman, Interview: Zach Galifianakis, More more >
  Topics: Comedy , Saturday Night Live, Tina Fey, Seth Meyers,  More more >
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